Cart Abandonment: Causes + Tips To Prevent Abandoned Carts

Lost opportunities cost businesses a great deal. Both in the form of leads that do not convert and customers who abandon their carts. In fact, among all types of unfinished business transactions, cart abandonment is one of the most disappointing. Because then all the efforts that went into helping the lead progress down the sales funnel go futile. So, what can you do about it?

Perhaps start with understanding the common reasons why customers choose to quit at the last minute? That would be a good starting point. Additionally, this research will help you identify the gaps in your marketing strategy and also work on content ideas to fill these gaps. Isn’t that a valuable step in marketing? So, what are we waiting for? Let’s unveil the mystery of cart abandonment and ways to prevent them! 

5 reasons why customers abandon their cart (and what can you do about them)

Cart abandonments happen due to a number of reasons. We all get cold feet once in a while as consumers. Sometimes, we realize when we are making an impulsive purchase and stop ourselves before making a payment. And sometimes it is because we stop to contemplate whether we really need the product. 

While brands cannot do much about all these little change-of-mind situations there are situations where cart abandonment happens due to experience-based triggers. These include things that a brand might be doing or not doing. Gaps in communication, lack of clarity in the information provided, lack of consistency all along the purchase funnel, and a few more factors can cause customers to have second thoughts. Let’s talk about such external factors over which brands have significant control. 

1. Unclear pricing 

How many times have you as a consumer added items to your cart and given up seeing exorbitant shipping costs? Data shows that about 68% of consumers might not proceed to make a purchase when there is no free shipping. For that matter, it’s not just about high shipping costs, it is also about the lack of transparency in terms of the additional cost. When your customers do not know upfront about the shipping cost details, there is a good chance of cart abandonment. 

In addition to shipping costs, if there are additional costs like the cost of installation or demo for respective products or handling costs etc, details about these should also be clear to customers. If you take them by surprise in the last step of the purchase funnel, they end up surprising you by abandoning their carts. 

The solution: 

Include details about shipping and other costs on your website. If the purchase funnel is created through an ad, then the landing page will be a great space to include these details. This way, customers will only proceed to the checkout process if they are okay with the additional costs of the order. 

Nike, for example, displays the shipping costs along with the estimated date of delivery on the product page so that customers can conveniently understand their expenses before adding an item to their carts. 

2. The complication of account creation 

Creating an account might seem like a simple thing and brands do this with a clear intent – to track their customer’s browsing history and purchases. There’s no doubt about that! But do customers really like to create an account on every site they shop from? The answer is a big no. 

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Customers are worried about providing their personal information and registering their interests due to the fear of the information being compromised. 
  • Creating an account opens the possibility of the customer being bombarded with promotional emails and text messages and some customers detest this. 
  • Some of these are one-time purchases. Take home appliances for example. Customers might only buy the product once in several years. They might not be willing to go through the hassle of creating an account for a one-time purchase. 

In all these cases, when you mandate account creation to place an order, you increase the risk of cart abandonment. 

The solution:

Allowing guest checkout is one of the easiest ways to tackle cart abandonment. At the make-or-break moment when customers are most likely to flip, guest checkout reduces the chances of second thoughts. 

Additionally, guest checkout is also a great way to accommodate impulsive buyers. Data shows that 8 in 10 shoppers have made an impulsive purchase. By bypassing the tedious process of creating an account, you are making things simpler for impulse buyers. 

While guest checkout is not a very common trend, even popular brands like LEGO support this idea. 

KIMP Tip: When you collect a customer’s contact details on the guest checkout page, remember to transparently communicate where the details will be used. By letting them know that you only need the contact information to communicate order-related updates, you are building confidence. 

3. Complicated order placement/checkout 

Simplifying the order process for customers might seem like the most evident thing for an ecommerce business to do but not many of them pay attention to this detail. What looks simple to you might not necessarily look simple to your customers. Take the account creation step for example. The brand’s perspective and the customer’s perspective are totally different. 

Similarly, if the order placement and checkout are complicated, it increases the chances of cart abandonment. Here are a few factors that can contribute to that:

  • When there is no clear indication of how to place an order 
  • Finding all the information essential before placing an order, like delivery and shipping timeline, costs is difficult. 
Email design by KIMP
The solution: 

The easiest way to tackle all the cart abandonments that occur due to simplify the process and reduce the number of steps in placing an order. Save the cart so that users can come back and place the order later and allow auto-filling of details so that users do not have to go through all the steps all over again. Data shows that about 55% of consumers might abandon their carts if they are asked to enter the shipping details and payment information for each order. 

Additionally, once the customer creates an account and expresses an interest in your business, remember to follow up with an email that tells them how to place an order. 

Creating a video demonstration of the order process and posting the video on the campaign landing page or even on your social media pages make a mound of difference. 

4. Lack of confidence in the business 

Did you know that about 20% of cart abandonments happen due to customers not trusting the business? This could be a lack of trust in the brand itself or a lack of trust in the website due to the lack of secure payment options. 

Whether it is a one-time purchase or a repetitive order, customers need to trust the business in order to go on with the transaction. If this trust is missing, customers will not be willing to provide their contact information and payment details. As a result, even if they like the product and its price and find the checkout process smooth, they will not proceed with the order. 

The solution: 

Building trust does not happen overnight. Brands need to pay attention to this step way ahead in the purchase funnel. Every brand visual and brand message that the customer sees from the first interaction counts. 

Keeping all these factors in mind, a few ways to work toward building trust include: 

  • All your branding efforts should target building an authentic brand
  • The content you post online should be informative and should show customers your brand’s authority in the industry. They should tell customers why they need that particular product and also show why they should consider your brand for that product. Use infographics and other interactive formats to present the information clearly. 
Infographic design by KIMP

KIMP Tip: While you work on creating on-brand content that establishes your brand’s credibility, remember that the tone of your designs and the aesthetics should be consistent. Because it takes multiple impressions to get people to remember a brand and these need to be consistent impressions. And you do not want customers to believe the information in front of them but also the brand that presents that information.

5. Insufficient information about products or services 

Cart abandonment might also happen when customers do not have sufficient information about the product or service they intend to purchase. 

This can be in the form of:

  • Missing details about product features
  • Vague product description on the product page 
  • Incomplete details about sizing, dimensions, etc. 

In all such cases, a customer might add a product to their cart and start looking for the missing details from other sources. In this process, if they come across a competitor’s product that’s priced lower or if the product page seems to have all the information they need, it results in a lost lead. 

The solution: 

Have the right kind of content mix on your online channels. In addition to engaging and entertaining content that does well on social media, include content that helps customers understand your brand and your products better. 

A few content ideas to tap into are: 

  • Product demo videos to create a virtual experience of the product in action 
  • Explainer videos that talk about the idea behind the product/service and explain how they add value to the customer 
  • Unboxing videos and other video testimonials from real customers 
  • Behind-the-scenes videos that show the process behind delivering the product or service. 

Customers need to encounter all these content types before they make their purchase and then there is less chance of cart abandonment. 

What can brands do after a customer abandons their cart? 

Even after knowing these reasons and incorporating preventive measures, completely eliminating cart abandonment is a distant dream. But there are a few robust steps you can take in order to try again and grab a second chance with your audience. Let’s talk about them: 

  • Have an exit pop-up in place. This should capture the irresistible details about shopping with your brand, the exclusive delivery benefits you offer, details about free shipping, secure payment gateway, and more. 
  • Follow up an abandoned cart with a customized email. And this should happen almost instantly. But limit the follow-up for cart abandonment. Sending one a few hours after the customer abandoned their cart and one more the day after will be the maximum effort to make. Too many emails interrupt the experience. These follow-ups can also be done through app push notifications with a direct link to the checkout page in order to speed up the process. 
  • Sustain relationships with your customer by using post-sale emails to provide them with order tracking information, and to gather feedback about the experience. This feedback helps you identify any friction along the purchase funnel. Even an engaging landing page displayed after the successful order placement can make a big difference. This landing page can direct customers to useful links like order tracking, helpdesk contacts for quick queries, and so on.
Landing page design by KIMP

With all these little steps you can master the art of persuading skeptical shoppers and even to help customers leave their second thoughts behind and come back to complete the checkout process. 

Ready to crack the code of cart abandonment? 

Clear communication, as you can see, is the key to reducing the risk of cart abandonment and addressing abandoned carts. This communication from the brand should be personalized and engaging. Whether you use retargeting ads, app notifications, or emails for these interactions, ensure that you use visually appealing graphics and convincing copy to deliver the message. While the graphics help attract your customer’s attention, the copy convinces them to come back. 

Need help designing these convincing visuals for personalized customer communication? Get KIMP and have all your marketing emails, digital and print ads as well as campaign landing pages designed conveniently. 

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